Eds: This is our instant recap written chronologically, with the second half then the first half. Our full game recap with quotes and analysis will be available later tonight.
The atmosphere to start the second half was not the same as it was to start the first. Even the student section had emptied out for the most part, and the Sun Devils led 31-0 against an FCS team.
That FCS received the ball to start the third quarter, but was unable to mount a scoring drive. The Wildcats drove, but ended up punting the ball to Arizona State, which started from its own 15-yard line. Junior quarterback Mike Bercovici spelled Taylor Kelly, who finished the night 18-27 for 238 yards and a touchdown.
Bercovici may have been quarterback, but D.J. Foster was still the running back. Foster made a nasty spin move on Weber State on the first drive of the half, and took it 57 yards to the house to give the maroon and gold a 38-0 lead. It was a career-long run for Foster.
Weber State finally got on the board in the second half, when with 7:35 left in the quarter, Wildcat quarterback Billy Green hit senior wideout Shaydon Kehano with a nifty pass from 19 yards out. It was a drive that lasted eight plays and went 65 yards to make the score 38-7.
Not allowing that to go unpunished, the Sun Devils answered right back. Driving down the field (and aided by a facemask penalty by Weber State), it took only 2:47 for the Sun Devils to get those seven points right back. Bercovici connected with redshirt freshman Ellis Jefferson for a 15-yard touchdown pass, the first career touchdown for both of them.
The teams traded punts for the next few drives, and third quarter came to end with Arizona State at midfield.
End of the third quarter: ASU 45, Weber State 7
The fourth quarter was about as exciting as you would expect the fourth quarter of a 45-7 game to be. It was an exhibition of rushing to kill the clock by Arizona State, passing in attempt to make it a game by Weber State and punting by both teams. Weber State broke through with just over five minutes left in the game with a 60-yard touchdown run by sophomore Zach Smith to bring the score to 45-14.
And that was that. Arizona State ran out the clock after that, and coasted its way to a 45-14 victory.
Final Score: ASU 45, Weber State 14
The start of the game was a bit puzzling for those expecting an Arizona State blowout. The Sun Devils punted the ball away on their first drive, then after a quick three-and-out got the ball back in their zone. But it wasn't Taylor Kelly or D.J. Foster or Jaelen Strong who opened the scoring, but kicker Zane Gonzalez, who booted a 33-yarder to put the team on the board with 8:27 to play in the first quarter.
Then the offense clicked. On the third drive (after another defensive three-and-out), Kelly and Foster found each other, and found each other often. The drive was seven plays for 55 yards, and ended in an 8-yard touchdown to pass to redshirt junior wide receiver Gary Chambers. It was Chambers' first career touchdown on his first career catch, and it put his team up 10-0.
The next drive saw a staple from last year's scheme: the back-shoulder fade to Strong for 26 yards. The drive ended with Foster punching in a 1-yard run for the second touchdown in as many drives.
To sum up the first quarter: It was the Foster and Strong show. The running back and wide receiver combined for 160 yards. Everyone else combined for 11.
It was on the next defensive sequence- the fourth drive of the game for Weber State that it recorded a first down for the first time. The Wildcats drove down the field and ended the first quarter in a 2nd-and-goal situation on the Arizona State 2-yard line.
End of the first quarter: ASU 17, Weber State 0
Any hope Weber State had disappeared with a 4th-and-inches stop at the goal line by the Sun Devil defense. The next play: a 35-yard pass from Kelly to Strong. The next: a 19-yard run by Foster. A few plays later, Foster put the Sun Devils back in the endzone and it was 24-0 with 11:35 left in the half. All in all, it was a nine-play, 99-yard scoring drive.
And that was the ballgame.
Weber State showed some life on the ensuing drive, but it ended in a punt. Arizona State took the ball, and moved down the field for another score. Foster, Strong and Chambers all got in on the action, and it was freshman running back Kalen Ballage punched it in for his first career touchdown to go up 31-0.
Strong ended the first half with 10 catches for 146 yards. Foster had 84 yards on the ground, 26 in the air and two touchdowns. In the half, Taylor Kelly also passed Danny White and Ryan Kealy to go into fourth on the all-time passing list at Arizona State, with 6,943 yards.
End of the second quarter: ASU 31, Weber State 0